By CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4)– There’s a new term circulating: “twindemic.” Public health officials fear the scenario of both coronavirus and influenza as we approach the flu season.

It’s still August, but flu shots are already available and some doctors are encouraging you to roll up your sleeve.

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There are signs outside some drugstore chains, you could call them early warning signs. The store pharmacies are stocked with flu vaccine and making a push for people to get protected.

“All 4 of us are going to get flu shots this year,” vowed Aimee Coleman, a shopper outside the Target in Glendale.

There should be plenty to go around. Reports are manufacturers are making millions of extra doses of the flu vaccine in preparation for a possible onslaught of customers because of COVID-19.

“If you’ve never had the vaccine before, this is the time to get it,” said Dr. Lela Mansoori, hospitalist at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center.

She said experts are anticipating an early flu season, peaking in November. She explained protecting yourself from influenza is, now, critically important.

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“If you get the flu, that’s going to strip the lining of your lungs and your airways and make you more susceptible of getting an even deeper infection of COVID-19,” said Mansoori.

“I think we’re going to probably wait a month or so,” said Aimee.

The usual recommendation is get immunized in early fall so protection lasts thru the season, but faced with a “twindemic” some doctors say don’t dally.

“Getting a flu shot, even this early, is far better than not getting a flu shot at all,” said Dr. Jacob Beniflah, emergency physician at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.

His concern is a bad flu season coupled with a surge of coronavirus.

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“Could make it difficult for folks to obtain care,” he said.

Kathy Walsh